CTTMO to tap barkers

The city government is planning to utilize nuisance jeepney barkers into useful street attendants who can be street traffic lecturers.

“We can turn these people into assets of the city. They will be the ones who notify the drivers regarding the traffic guidelines,” said Dionisio Abude, the chief of the Davao City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO).

During recent edition of i-Speak forum at City Hall, Abude revealed his plan to eradicate the illegal activities of jeepney barkers in the city’s streets.

Early this year, Abude said he gathered all the jeepney barkers at his office to inform them on the various complaints the CTTMO received from the passengers.

The barkers, or dispatchers, operate in almost all street corners in the city where jeepneys stop.

They are also constant in malls and even in terminals.

They attract the attention of the commuters on which jeepney to ride.

The city considers barkers as illegal, but the activity has been tolerated as a source of alternative livelihood.

In 2015, during the term of then mayor Rodrigo Duterte, the city government rounded up 45 barkers and warned them against continuing their practice.

But the operation of barkers continued.

Mayor Duterte, now the president, branded the barkers as street extortionist for demanding fixed amount from the drivers for every passenger they can take in.

Some barkers get angry and threaten drivers if they only give small amounts.

Some barkers would sexually harass female passengers.

According to Abude, barkers will be tapped as street attendants, equivalent to volunteer auxiliary cops of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).

The police volunteers are receiving allowance from the city government as they help the local police in patrolling the city’s streets.

As the barkers showed positive feedback on the CTTMO’s plan, Abude said he will soon present his proposal to the Transport and Traffic Management Board for the evaluation of the members.

Once approved, Abude said honorarium and uniforms will be given to the street attendants.

Abude said he is also open to other possibilities if his proposal would be rejected. (Regina Mae Ronquillo)